LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday addressed the nation and urged every citizen to play their part in uplifting the poor and restoring Pakistan.
Earlier today, PM Imran through a video message urged the nation to use the Asset Declaration Ordinance 2019 (Amnesty Scheme) to declare all illegal and benami assets. He also urged that all assets kept outside the country should also be brought into the tax net so that Pakistan can reach its tax targets and pay off its loans using the money gathered through tax collection.
He began his address by blaming the former Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government of acquiring almost Rs24,000 billion debt in the form of new loans over the last ten years. He said that 10 years ago Pakistan’s liabilities stood at just Rs6,000 billion whereas today they stand at Rs30,000 billion.
Moreover, he said that currently, Pakistan collects around Rs4,000 billion in taxes annually, however, it has the potential to collect over Rs10,000 billion annually if the nation comes together and pays their share of taxes.
He said that half of the Rs4,000 billion tax collected goes to paying off current debts whereas the rest is not sufficient enough for the country.
He said that Pakistan is one of the very few countries that rank the highest in almsgiving but unfortunately ranks the lowest in tax collection.
The prime minister further said the government is fully informed about benami accounts and undeclared assets. And he informed that several agreements have been signed with various countries regarding the matter.
The premier, while addressing the nation in relation to the financial situation on Monday morning, said that benami assets and accounts can be declared by 30th June under the amnesty scheme.
“Once the deadline is passed, you will not be able to use the opportunity,” he said.
It is pertinent to mention that mired in financial crises amid high inflation rate, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is all set to roll out its first finance bill on June 11, Tuesday.
The budget will bring with itself an expected deficit of Rs3 trillion as opposed to the Rs1.8 trillion in the previous budgets. It will be approved by the federal cabinet on Tuesday in a meeting hours ahead of its formal presentation in the National Assembly (NA).
In order to meet the challenges the premier chaired multiple meetings of his party leaders and kitchen cabinet members at Bani Gala on Sunday, sources said.
As per the earlier announcement, the federal budget will be presented on June 11 (Tuesday) at the Parliament House. The meeting is expected to give approval for Rs6.8 trillion federal budget with the deficit estimated for the next financial year at historic high contrary to the previous government which had intended to restrict the overall fiscal deficit to Rs1,890.2 billion or 4.9 per cent of the GDP in the last budget.